Wednesday, July 30, 2008

When Opposites Attack

It's no secret to me, or anyone else, FM and are head smackingly complete opposites.

For the most part, it works. We provide each other "insight" into a whole different world of thought.

Or something like that.

On a deep, psyche defining level, we're probably more alike than we know.

But on a daily living basis I sometimes think there couldn't be any two more different people trying to forge out a life together.

FM's quiet. I'm, well, NOT quiet. He's calm and rational. I'm usually some kind of emotional mess. He's gentle. I'm rough. He's water. I'm oil. Get it?

We have the small potential of a mini-break coming up. Our proposed leave date from Beijing and our proposed return date may be so close together it doesn't warrant hopping into the belly of the flying beast and returning all the way home.

So what to do in the Asia area for a couple weeks?

My proposal: A trip into Mongolia, down to Shanghai, through some other Chinese towns I don't know the names of but will research and figure out at some point, to the Three River Gorge (a boat trip, I'm thinking), onto Hainan Island (the Hawaii of China) and maybe a quick hop over to Hong Kong, for old time's sake.

Obviously, not completely thought out yet, but we HAVE visa's for China, visa's that allow us to stay for A YEAR, and pop in and out of the country as often as we wish. Shouldn't we take advantage of seeing more of this fantastically huge and varied country while we're here?

FM's response: Why do you want to see more of China? It's all the same. .. right?

Me: (shaking head in dismay) What do you want to do?

FM: A week in Tokyo and a week in Hong Kong.

Me: But, but, but. . . we've BEEN to both of those places. Several times.

FM: Yep.

Me: Maybe I'll go on a five day tour by myself while you're working . . .

FM: Okay.

Me: Isn't there anywhere in China you would like to see?

FM: Nope. But maybe Mongolia.

Me: Okay, I'll leave Mongolia out of my tour, and we'll do that together.

FM: I said maybe.

Not that I should be surprised by any of this. It happens every time we try and plan a vacation. I want the new, the different, the unknown. FM wants the tried, the true, the familiar.

It's the same with so many aspects of our life. Even eating. I want to try new places, FM wants to return to where he knows the food and service are good. I offer to make a ahi tuna with seasame and ginger, he opts for Shepherd's Pie.

Usually we find some kind of happy medium.

He did mention he'd consider Tibet or Nepal, in combination with Hong Kong. Well, that's someplace new and different. And even a place I would like to go. Just not exactly what I want to do, nor exactly what FM wants to do. Sigh.

When we go "my" way, it usually ends up, well, not so perfect. Partly because we approach new things differently. FM is cautious, more guarded. I'm gung-ho, let's walk across town! Let's rent a car and drive 100 miles! Let's see everything here!

For two people who have traveled together for 8+ years, we definitely have different styles. It works out okay, what with him working all day giving me the time and space to wander and explore on my own. But when free time becomes available? Whew. It's a clash of worlds.

He just popped back from work this morning to pick up his passport and said, "I just heard a rumor we can't work on X date and X date, due to the incoming visit of our illustrious leader."

Me: SWEET! Four day weekend! We could go to Mongolia! Or Hainan!

FM: I want a golf weekend. Bye! (running out the door before he can get a response)

Me: (banging head on the floor) ARGHHHHHHHH!

In his defense, I'm sure my itinerary of a China tour thrilled him in the same mind-numbing way a proposed four day golf weekend in the scorching sun of China thrills me.

Ain't love grand?

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